This summer I send a bunch of questions to Verse by email. Somehow they never got answered so when the opportunity arose to interview singer Sean Murphy face to face, when State Of Affairs opened up for Verse, I took it. Verse is one of the few bands around nowadays who combine a serious message with some great old school tunes and who are not only preaching but also practicing what they say.
Probably the most remarkable tracks on 'Aggression' are 'Story Of A Free Man' part 1, 2 and 3. I wonder do you consider yourself a free man?
To a certain degree I do. I mean I don't work for a big company or own lots of money to a bank. I work as a pizza maker. The place is collectively run. There's a boss but he's not really an overseeing person. Everyone has his say. Decisions are made together.
Could your work for a real boss?
I did lots of times in the past. I worked for some real jerks who didn't care about their employees. I don't think I could still do that though.
And what about Bridge 9 owner Chris Wrenn. Do you consider him to be you're boss in some way?
Haha, no. I see him more as a comrade. They have helped us out a lot. We don't really have that 'working' relationship with the label. And he runs Bridge 9 very collectively. I think that's one of the reasons the label still grows.
It's a great label to be on. They respect us and let us do whatever. They are also open to our political and social views which is kind of unique these days. Even in the hardcorepunkscene which should be all about counter culture.
In a review on punknews.org I read about you gave some good speeches between tracks, notably one before “Lost” about your current disillusionment with hardcore as it is losing the punk ethic that attracted you to the subculture in the first place. I agree on that but what can we do about it?
You have a voice and so do I. The only thing we can do is speak up. Music can be a powerful medium to address change whether it is in your own community or more global. That's one of the most important reasons for me to do Verse.
So what's your opinion on Obama? Do you think he will bring the change everyone hopes for?
Well Obama has a lot of people to answer to. I feel that's good for the country that people actually elected an afro-american person. But I don't think he's really left wing. Maybe I'm too much of an anarchist for that. He is definitely the lesser of two evils.
And what about the worldwide reaction after the election that now thinks will change?
That's just insane. I saw people running around without their shirts that night. As if their football team won the championship. I'm afraid the people who voted Obama will they 'we won, now lets get back in our houses and he will take care of everything'. That's not going to happen. There has to be national and international pressure to makes sure he follows through. I'd like to see more people involved in that. From what I've heard and read Obama does listen to the people so maybe things will change.
Here in the Netherlandse the economical crisis is big news whereas I think the real casualties so far are made in the States. What do you notice about that yourself?
I see that it affects a lot of people. For example in my neighborhood. Four years ago there were no apartments for sale. Now three out of four houses are vacant or even burned down, because people thought they could at least get some insurance money. So I see the immediate effects. And I don't live in a real good part of town, though the neighborhood isn't bad either.
And what is your opinion on the whole bail out plan?
I think it's hilarious, now they're making the common people pay for the fuck ups of the people at the top. To see Bush practically on his knees pleading the citizens of America to agree with the plan, it's so ridiculous. And the worst thing is that in two years all those banks will be privatized again and the same people will be back running them. They're not even punished for what they've done. They still live in their large houses with swimming pools. Now it's on the backs of the poor and the middle class to save the economy.